From her temporary home in Ottawa, Jessia recently spoke with me about her first songs, how TikTok blew up her current single and what kind of tea is her favourite. (See our full conversation below.)
Jessia, who grew up in Vancouver and is missing the mild weather there, started writing when she was around 10 years-old. She says of her first song, “It was… It was rough!” But she kept on writing and writing. Jessia says, “I’m a very selfish songwriter in, like, I write for my own therapy. I write to get me through the day” She wants her songs to make you feel like you’re sitting down for tea and chatting. And her favourite tea? A classic Creamy Earl Gray.
Jessia attended MacEwan University in Edmonton “and froze [her] butt of there for 5 years!” She doesn’t regret her time at university studying vocal performance. She says “Who knows where I would have been if I didn’t go. I’m happy that I went because it brought me to this place in my life. I made some really good connections.”
But, after graduating, she had a bit of an existential crisis, hitting rock bottom. She says it was “Just kind of realising, ‘what do I actually want to do with my life?’ You leave the school nest and you’re like ‘Oh my goodness, what am I doing now!? I’m in the real world!’ Just finding out who I am and what I want to be”. What got her through this period? Lockdown.
“COVID just stripped away everything, all the luxuries in life. And you’re only able to focus on yourself, because you’re just with yourself all the time” she laughs. “As weird as it sounds, I’m thankful for the quarantine a little bit in the fact that it let me figure out my priorities and see what was most important. [I] came to the conclusion that I wanted to be a musician and I wanted to be a songwriter.”
Do You Like This Song, Maybe?
Jessia has worked in the music industry writing toplines for EDM artists (the melodies over top of electronic beats) but it was a throw-away video on TikTok, asking “Is this a bop?” that gained her massive attention.
All of the other songs she had posted online were completed but, this time, she wanted to bring people along on the song writing journey. “It was kind of my desperate post like ‘I don’t know what you want from me!! So like, here. Do you like this song maybe?’” The answer was yes! Over a million people viewed that video in one day. Jessia and Elijah Woods wrote and produced the full song in 48 hours and it became a hit, streaming over a million times on Spotify in the first weekend!
Check out the video below to hear our whole conversation and find out how she feels about the success of “I’m not Pretty” and more!
Here’s the official music video!